Sinatra strides through the sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd with the confidence of a sports hero, accompanied by his handlers and bodyguards. If not for the gray hair and tuxedo, he could very well be--Howard Cosell's... more » histrionic introductory rap sets the concert up as a world championship bout. While this 1974 concert does not capture Sinatra at his prime (at times his voice sounds weak and he chokes on a few high notes), his tone improves over the course of the set and his phrasing remains as seemingly effortless as ever. Accompanied by Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd, Sinatra delivers his usual mix of impeccably well-chosen standards ("All the Way," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "I've Got You Under My Skin"), signature tunes ("My Kind of Town," "My Way"), and even a pop standard he effectively makes his own: Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." A sports arena is hardly the ideal setting for the Chairman of the Board--he's forced to shush the massive crowd before he can attempt the intimate "Angel Eyes"--but by the same token he has this keyed-up audience dancing in the aisles to his brassy rendition of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." --Sean Axmaker« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Taped live in New York's Madison Square Garden on October 13th, 1974, Sinatra stands on a small stage encircled by an audience of 20,000 fans, and as Howard Cosell says in his intro, "celebrities are here in profusion", like Robert Redford, and his look-alike, N.Y.C. Mayor (1966-1973) John Lindsay; Sinatra says during the concert, "I have never felt so much love in one room in my whole life", and as one can see from the applause and outpouring of affection, he conquers them all. Sinatra was 58 at the time, and his voice is far from the perfection of his younger years, but his incredible musicality shines through the occasional vocal crackle.
The band led by Don Costa is terrific, with brass blazing and crisp drum beats, and highlights for me are the jazzy, swinging "I've Got You Under My Skin", and one of my top 10 favorite songs, "Angel Eyes", which no one has been able to interpret as well as Sinatra; in this rendition he compensates for his diminished vocal power by making it a theater piece, and showing his acting skills....watch his hands during this song, which are so dramatically expressive. Those who seek the vocal excellence of Sinatra's youth should get one of his wonderful CDs instead (my choice is the extraordinary "Only the Lonely"), but true and faithful Sinatra fans will cherish this tape. Total running time is 53 minutes.
Song list: "The Lady is a Tramp" "I Get a Kick Out of You" "Let me Try Again" "Autumn in New York" "I've Got You Under My Skin" "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" "Angel Eyes" "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" "The House I Live In" "My Kind of Town" "My Way""
Ignore the 'Sad State...' review
D Wetterer | 02/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I personally loved this DVD... those expecting 5.1 surround and HDTV quality video need their heads examined!!! REMEMBER... this was a live ABC special from 1974! DVD's didn't even exist, much less VHS... so this is what we get. Be thankful that the master tapes even existed to produce this for the home market.
I'm not sure I understand the "Sad State..." reviewer's intention. He has posted the same review (verbatim!) on each of the Sinatra Reprise concert DVD's, giving them each one star. The point of the rating system is to rate the DVD for what it is, not for what you believe the label should produce. Yes, it would be nice to get these all in a box set, but Amazon.com's review/rating system is NOT the place to express your opinion. Let the producer know!!!
This is certainly not Sinatra's best performance, but it's not his worst either. I just love the fact that it even exists on DVD!!!"
The key word here is ENERGY
J. Boreczky | 07/22/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Frank definitely looks and sounds as if he has been doing alot of boozing and staying out late on this performance. What he lacks in vocal power in this performance, he makes up for in charisma and confidence. He cuts notes short, knowing his limitations. The highlight for me was his performance of Angel Eyes. His voice was perfect for the message in this song. As always Frank was classy and professional. I would recommend this more for the attitude and swagger that was Frank, than for his vocal capabilities during this particular performance."
Don't expect Picture and sound quality
barryhao | Ahmadi, Ahmadi Kuwait | 08/05/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you just want to hear and see Frank Sinatra in concert, then go with it. If you care further for Picture and sound quality as we expect in a DVD format, it is more like watching it on a VHS original format."
Frank Sinatra-The Main Event
R. Mason | Newcastle, Australia | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably Sinatra's best live performance on DVD. Recorded in 1974 it buzzes with excitement from his entrance down the aisle at Madison square Garden till the last moment. His selection during the concert was well balanced and his interaction with the crowd delightful. The only thing missing was "New York, New York" but he released it a tad too late for this airing-around 1979. Overall a great buy. One Sinatra fans will play over and over I feel sure."